Barcelona 2 - 2 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 7)

To coincide in time with two of the best players in history is a privilege for football fans and ensures an endless source of stories to entertain the grandchildren and other young guys. Attend their permanent fight is a pleasure that yesterday was multiplied by thousand, fighting face to face. Messi and Cristiano struggled last night without intermediaries or miles away. Their known battle for the throne of football found accommodation in the middle of the Classic. Twenty of the best players on the planet got on to their rumps, earrings and dependents. If the show ended up being great, it was because Cristiano and Messi seized the match and in the middle of a colossal battle, they replied to each other every affront.

It is very rare that something like this happens. Typically when a genius shines the other falls into the dark. However, the draw means in this case an absolute balance extending from them to their respective teams, although Real Madrid continues in the race with eight points down. Not much, if you think about Cristiano Ronaldo, but it is an ocean if we consider Messi. We will enjoy, this is the only certainty.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi after finishin the match 2-2
Amazing performance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi

Real Madrid started the match with very clear ideas. Putting pressure on the opponents when they were in possession, the Whites, who were not feeling the combined pressure from the crowd or the home team, dominated and created the better chances in the first half hour. In fact, the first chance fell to the visitors in the form of a Di María shot that went over on 6 minutes. After very little time they created more dangerous chances. A Ronaldo cross to Benzema on the penalty spot who miscued a volley in the 13th minute. In only 15 minutes, Real Madrid had managed to create two chances, while Barcelona had not had a shot on goal and had committed six fouls as opposed to only one by the Whites.

Real Madrid were very comfortable on the pitch. They were their passages of play and they soon got their deserved reward. In just six minutes they had three very clear opportunities. The first, a headed shot from Ramos from a corner, went a few inches over the Barca goal in the 19th minute. The second chance ended with a goal following a piece of play in which Real Madrid strung together ten passes in arriving in the home team’s area and was worthy of the outcome. Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Di Maria, Marcelo and Özil were involved in the move that in which the ball ended up with Benzema, who played through Ronaldo with some great vision in the area. The low shot from the Portuguese surprised Valdés at his near post in the 23rd minutes. It is the sixth consecutive match in which the Portuguese has found the net against Barcelona. 0-1 and the second nearly came two minutes later but Benzema’s shot hit the post and then a mistake from Di Maria missed the rebound.

Inside half an hour, the league champions had five chances, either hitting the post or stopped by Valdes. Barcelona, meanwhile, only had one long distant shot from Iniesta in the 21st minute, but on their first shot on target they brought the match level. It was a bouncing ball that arrived in the visiting team’s area and Pepe attempted a clearance but misjudged his jump to set free Messi who beat Casillas in the 31st minute. 1-1, which is how the half finished. It was unfair to the Whites who were superior.

Mourinho had little to change at the break. His team dominated in the Nou Camp and the Whites were close to backing-up their superiority in the first passage of play in the second half. Özil went into the area and passed Mascherano with a beautiful spin, but was taken down in the area by the Argentine in the 46th minute. Delgado Ferreiro, the referee, said no penalty. The match was exciting and the fight for the ball in midfield was titanic. More chances were created and in the 60th minute Barcelona went ahead in an isolated piece of play. Messi was tripped outside the area in front of goal and he put his free-kick over the wall for second goal.

Everything turned against Real Madrid, but this team has always shown throughout its history its built-in resilience. In the Camp Nou there was no exception. Özil set Ronaldo clear and the ruthless Portuguese scored from the one-on-one in the 67th minute. The Portuguese’s first brace against Barcelona and tenth goal in the last five matches. The Catalans’ home crowd wanted to give their team strength, but it was Higuain, who had replaced Benzema in the 61st minute, who had the opportunity to put Real Madrid back ahead with a shot from a difficult angle that Valdes stopped in the 77th minute. Both teams kept going until the end a Montoya shot hit the crossbar, but the record of the matches between the two sides this season (a win for each and a draw) reflected the equity on the scoreboard. The third Clasico of the season ended in a draw.


Stadium: Nou Camp
Attendance: 98,000
Goals: 0-1, m.23: Cristiano Ronaldo. 1-1, m.31: Messi. 2-1, m.61: Messi. 2-2, m.66: Cristiano Ronaldo.

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